TINY SCIENCE DE LA SCIENCE AU MINUSCULE COMPETING WITH ROBOTS? CURRICULA: Multiculturalism and Canada s North 17TH ANNUAL TECHNOLOGY SUPPLEMENT

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1 MAR/APR 2010 $3.85 Education for Today and Tomorrow L Education - Aujourd hui et Demain TINY SCIENCE DE LA SCIENCE AU MINUSCULE COMPETING WITH ROBOTS? CURRICULA: Multiculturalism and Canada s North 17TH ANNUAL TECHNOLOGY SUPPLEMENT

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3 CONTENTS FEATURES Tiny Science / De la science au minuscule... 11,14 Lisa Tran 17th Annual Technology Supplement COLUMNS Futures / Le Futur Competing with Robots... 5,7 Richard Worzel Web Stuff Schooltube and Teachertube...9 Field Trips: What s On: Dramatic Arts DEPARTMENTS Curricula: Multiculturalism and Canada s North AD INDEX MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 3

4 NOTES W hether you re in the rural villages of Congo or a researcher at MIT, there is a natural inclination to continuously push technology and adapt it to our every need simple or complex. I recently watched a documentary that followed scientists en route to study a volcano in the heart of the Congo jungles. As part of their journey, they travelled through towns so impoverished that locals ride bicycles made from scrap pieces of wood. The wheels are curiously not smooth, rather rough and jagged, but the bikes still manage to take its riders to their chosen destinations. On the more complex side, I also came across a technology blog that showed scientists of a different kind demonstrate robots capable of showing emotion. It was rather frightening but still incredibly fascinating. I had to watch it again. The different facets of technology truly span the globe and newer technologies are increasingly reaching our classrooms. Often, educators are an afterthought to the building of new technologies and there is considerable lag time between development and implementation. To be on top of the technology game, we must play a part in its development. Every spring, TEACH Magazine dedicates an issue to technology. This time around we show you how to take control of the technology game. Lead by example. Become involved in the early stages of any technological revolution and prove the importance of educational development of new technologies. Our feature story will open your eyes to the wide world of nanotechnology and how such tiny science can have a big impact in classrooms. In his Futures column, Richard Worzel explores the idea of humans competing with robots for jobs. We also have a new Technology Supplement. As you peruse the content, we hope you find some new and exciting educational innovations. Last, don t miss your chance to bring new technology to the classroom. Enter our latest contest; TEACH Rewards Teachers! Visit www. teachmag.com to win design, music editing, and video editing software from our sponsors, MAGIX. Q u on soit habitant d un village rural du Congo ou chercheur au MIT, l être humain cherche continuellement à faire évoluer la technologie afin qu elle réponde à nos besoins de tous les jours, simples ou complexes. 4 - MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF J ai récemment regardé un documentaire où on suivait des scientifiques en route pour étudier un volcan au cœur de la jungle congolaise. Leur excursion les a emmenés dans des villages tellement pauvres que les résidants locaux se fabriquaient des bicyclettes à l aide de vieux morceaux de bois. Les roues étaient tout sauf lisses, ce qui n empêchait cependant en rien les gens de se rendre à destination. Sur une note plus complexe cette fois, je suis tombée dernièrement sur un blogue technologique où on voyait divers scientifiques faisant la démonstration de robots capables d «exprimer des émotions». J en ai eu des frissons, mais je demeurais tout de même fascinée par la chose. Et je n ai pu m empêcher de réécouter la vidéo. La technologie se répand sous toutes ses facettes comme une traînée de poudre, et nos classes n y échappent pas. Souvent, le milieu de l éducation est le laissé pour compte dans le monde des technologies, et beaucoup de temps s écoule avant que les découvertes ne parviennent jusqu à nous. Pour prendre la place qui nous revient, il faut contribuer à la mise au point de ces technologies. Chaque printemps, TEACH-LE PROF réserve un numéro à la technologie. Dans celui que vous avez entre les mains, nous vous montrons justement comment prendre notre place. Il faut donner l exemple. Participer aux balbutiements des révolutions technologiques à nos portes. Montrer l importance des nouvelles technologies en éducation. Notre article en vedette vous ouvre la porte du monde de la nanotechnologie et vous montre en quoi une science aussi minuscule peut avoir de grandes répercussions dans nos classes. Aussi, Richard Worzel traite, dans la rubrique Le futur, de la rivalité entre les robots et les humains au travail. Nous avons aussi un nouveau supplément technologique. Nous espérons que vous trouverez dans le numéro des innovations intéressantes pour l éducation. D ailleurs, pourquoi ne pas tenter votre chance de mettre en place de nouvelles technologies en classe en participant à notre concours Des enseignants choyés! Visitez le www. teachmag.com et vous pourriez remporter des logiciels d infographie, de montage musical et de montage vidéo de notre commanditaire, MAGIX. Lisa Tran Assistant Editor /Rédactrice adjointe Publisher / Editor: Wili Liberman Assistant Editor: Lisa Tran Contributing Writers: Richard Worzel Art Direction: Vinicio Scarci Design / Production: Studio Productions Circulation: Susan Holden Editorial Advisory Board: John Fielding Professor of Education, Queen s University (retired) John Myers Curriculum Instructor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto Rose Dotten Directory of Library and Information Services, University of Toronto Schools (Retired) TEACH is published by Ontario Ltd. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Subscriptions are available at a cost of $18.95 plus $1.14 GST including postage and handling by writing our office, 87 Barford Rd Toronto, ON, M9W 4H8 T: (416) , F: (416) Unsolicited articles, photographs and artwork submitted are welcome but TEACH cannot accept responsibility for their return. Contents of this publication may be reproduced for teachers use in individual classrooms without permission. Others may not reproduce contents in any way unless given express consent by TEACH. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy, TEACH, or any of its affiliates, cannot assume responsibility for the content, errors or opinions expressed in the articles or advertisements and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any damages whatsoever. Canadian publication mail sales product agreement No ISSN No

5 FUTURES Richard Worzel, C.F.A. Competing with Robots I f you do any reading about the future of technology it will blow your mind. Not only is the pace of change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. One commentator, professional investor, John Mauldin, says that we are entering an era of perpetual future shock. I see an incredible panoply of changes coming in a wide range of fields, everything from biotechnology, nanotechnology, genetics, bioengineering, medical research, materials science, the Internet, and many other areas. But the area that will shock us most will be computer intelligences and the rise of everyday robots. New inventions take time to be absorbed into the marketplace and our lives. We do not just throw away a brand new, flat-screen TV just because a 3-D version appears. (Or at least, most of us do not.) It also takes time for companies to move something from a prototype in the laboratory to a floor model at a price that consumers will buy. Despite this, the changes of the next ten years will make the changes of the last ten or even the last twenty-five seem tame in comparison. This is Ray Kurzweil s Law of Accelerating Returns that he illustrates from a 2001 essay: In the nineteenth century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first twenty years of the twentieth century, we saw more advancement than in all of the nineteenth century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years time. The World Wide Web did not exist in anything like its present form just a few years ago; it didn t exist at all a decade ago. Kurzweil has been described as Edison s rightful heir, and is a very successful, and very rich, inventor. Yet, while people often dismiss him as a wild-eyed wacko, he has made an awful lot of money by being right more often than the vast majority. If he is right, and if the signs I am seeing right now are correct, we will see the emergence of everyday robots within the next ten years. This will not happen in the home at first, in part because a machine sophisticated enough to be very useful around the home, even without the computer to guide it, would cost about the same as a new car. But in the workplace, replacing a worker for the Creativity means doing new things and doing old things in new ways. Eventually, computers and robots will be able to do many, most, or all of the things that humans do. But humans are unpredictable and creativity is the constructive harnessing of that unpredictability. Therefore, one way of competing is to do things that no one has thought to program a computer to do. Of course, once it becomes clear that this is valuable, some bright spark will come along and figure out how to get a computer to do it, but until then, it is all ours... price of a new car is a good deal. Not only can machines work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (except for maintenance and repair), but you only have to buy them once. You have to pay workers every year or they become very unhappy. Therefore, I expect to see robots, computer intelligences, and automation moving into the workplace in a big way. It will start with routine, fairly simple work that does not require judgment. This has already happened in the manufacturing industries, but it is happening in clerical work as well: computers processing information are replacing humans. As just one simple example, people who prepare tax returns are widely being replaced by tax-preparation software that is increasingly sophisticated and routine wills are being created by software rather than lawyers. So far, such developments rely on dumb computers that simply do what they are programmed to do by humans in combination with humans deciding what goes in the appropriate blanks. This will change over the next ten years as more and more sophisticated software, such as genetic pro- MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 5

6 FUTURES gramming are combined with computers that are, say, 1,000 times faster than today s computers to create computers that seem to be human-intelligent. Human-intelligent computers mean that humans, both adults and children have their work cut out for them if they want to compete and thereby stay employed. (And, by the way, yes, I do know that there is more to education than vocational training.) So how can we compete? I think the answer lies in three words: creativity, flexibility, and humanity; it is these three things that our education system needs to aim towards, not facts and information. Creativity means doing new things and doing old things in new ways. Eventually, computers and robots will be able to do many, most, or all of the things that humans do. But humans are unpredictable and creativity is the constructive harnessing of that unpredictability. Therefore, one way of competing is to do things that no one has thought to program a computer to do. Of course, once it becomes clear that this is valuable, some bright spark will come along and figure out how to get a computer to do it, but until then, it is all ours. Included in this is the creation of art and artifacts. I am not sure whether we will eventually reach the stage of having computers or robots create paintings, sculptures, or symphonies for us. I tend to think we will not value them as highly as human works, but I could be wrong. But regardless, works created by humans will still be important and valued at different levels, depending on the artist, as has always been the case, but valued nonetheless. Flexibility means being able to jump in the deep end, figure out what is going on and then making something work. This is particularly true with the process of entrepreneurship, the creation of a new business. I have written two books on this subject, and I can tell you that at some stage in every successful, major entrepreneur s career, they are faced with some kind of completely insurmountable challenge which they then find a way to surmount. This is one illustration of flexibility. As for humanity, another way of putting this is that the rise of automation will put greater emphasis on the so-called soft skills: things like teamwork, empathy, leadership, understanding, and genius. Being able to assemble a team of people, and lead them through incredible adversity, has happened over and over in human history, and is one of humanity s defining traits. Being a team player that people want to work with is always and everywhere a career-enhancing trait. Understanding new circumstances and having empathy for people and their situations are both critical skills in a world where routine things will be handled by automation. (As one simple example, I deal with a particular satellite TV provider, not because they have the best prices or equipment, but because every time I call their service people, I come away vastly impressed, and wondering why all the service groups I deal with can t be that good.) And genius is why we live lives of historic luxury instead of living in caves and blinking uncomprehendingly at the stars as we scratch at our fleas. It is the uniquely human trait that has made everything else possible. So I have three challenges for you. First, check for yourself whether I am right or wrong about the upcoming changes in the next ten years and then think about what that will do to the workplace. Form your own opinions. Second, is the education system changing fast enough to cope with the changes ahead of us? And third: look at our education system and ask yourself: will it equip today s students adequately for tomorrow s world? And, if you decide I am right about the future and you do not do not believe our education system is up to the task ahead, I have a fourth challenge for you: What kind of education system do we need and how do we get there? Richard Worzel is Canada s leading futurist, and speaks to more than 20,000 people a year. He volunteers his time to speak to high school students for free. Contact him at futuresearch.com. 6 - MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

7 Le Futur Par Richard Worzel Nos rivaux les robots P eut-être avez-vous déjà senti cette sensation d être dépassé en lisant sur l avenir de la technologie. Non seulement les changements s accélèrent, mais l accélération elle-même s accélère! Commentateur et inventeur professionnel, John Mauldin affirme que nous sommes à l aube d une ère de révolution technologique continuelle.j entrevois une marée de changements dans beaucoup de domaines, notamment la biotechnologie, la nanotechnologie, la génétique, la bio-ingénierie, la recherche médicale, la science des matériaux et Internet. Mais le domaine qui évoluera le plus sera certes celui de l intelligence artificielle et de la mise au point de robots qui intégreront notre quotidien. Les inventions ne prennent leur place sur le marché et dans nos vies que relativement lentement. Il ne suffit pas de lancer un nouveau téléviseur à écran plat parce qu une version en trois dimensions a vu le jour (ou, du moins, la plupart d entre nous ne le font pas). Les entreprises doivent d abord valider leur prototype et créer un produit abordable pour les consommateurs. Malgré tout, les changements survenus au cours des dix dernières années (et même des vingt-cinq dernières années) ne se compareront même pas à ce qui nous attend pour les prochains dix ans. C est la «loi des progrès accélérés» qu illustre Ray Kurzweil dans un essai publié en 2001 (Law of Accelerating Returns) : «Au cours du dix-neuvième siècle, nous avons été témoins de plus de développements technologiques qu au cours des neuf siècles qui l ont précédé. Dans les vingt premières années du vingtième siècle, nous avons constaté plus de progrès que dans tout le dix-neuvième siècle. Maintenant, le même modèle se réplique sur une échelle de quelques années seulement. La Toile ne ressemblait en rien à ce qu on voit aujourd hui il y a seulement quelques années; elle n existait même pas il y a une dizaine d années.» [traduction libre] Kurzweil est perçu comme l héritier légitime d Edison : c est un inventeur prospère, très riche. On le considère bien souvent comme un pur cinglé, mais tout son argent, c est en ayant raison plus souvent que la majorité qu il l a obtenu. Si ses prévisions sont fondées et que je comprends bien les signes actuels, les robots feront leur arrivée dans notre vie quotidienne d ici une dizaine d années. «Quand on parle de créativité, on parle aussi d arts. Je ne suis pas convaincu que les ordinateurs et les robots pourront un jour créer des peintures, des sculptures ou des symphonies à notre place. J aurais tendance à croire que les œuvres créées par des ordinateurs n auront pas la même valeur à nos yeux que les œuvres créées par des humains, mais je me trompe peut-être. Peu importe, le travail des artistes aura toujours la cote (qu on aime ou pas un artiste).» La vie domestique ne sera pas perturbée tout de suite : en effet, une machine à la fine pointe qui peut être efficace dans les tâches ménagères sans ordinateur pour la guider coûterait sensiblement aussi cher qu une voiture. Mais pour les entreprises, le remplacement d un employé au prix d une voiture, voilà qui est très rentable! Non seulement les machines peuvent travailler 24 heures sur 24 et 365 jours par année (sauf pour entretien et réparation), mais il ne faut les acheter qu une seule fois! MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 7

8 FUTUR Les employés, eux, demandent à être payés chaque année ou sinon ils se fâchent. Les robots, l intelligence artificielle et l automatisation semblent donc la voie de l avenir au travail. Les tâches routinières seront les premières touchées, celles qui n exigent pas de jugement. On en a déjà des applications dans le secteur manufacturier et aussi dans le travail de bureau : les ordinateurs qui traitent les données remplacent effectivement les humains. Les personnes qui préparent des déclarations de revenus en constituent un bon exemple, car elles se font semer de plus en plus par des logiciels qu on ne cesse de perfectionner. Il en va de même pour les testaments de routine, créés par des logiciels plutôt que par des avocats. Pour l instant, les ordinateurs mis au point ne font qu accomplir bêtement ce que les humains programment, et ce sont les humains qui déterminent ce qu il faut inscrire dans les bonnes cases. Les dix prochaines années seront le théâtre de grands changements : les logiciels, notamment ceux de programmation génétique, seront perfectionnés et fonctionneront sur des ordinateurs près de fois plus rapides que ceux d aujourd hui. Nous aurons des ordinateurs aussi intelligents que l humain. Ces ordinateurs aussi intelligents que l humain entraîneront une rivalité entre, d un côté, l ordinateur, et, d un autre côté, les adultes et les enfants, car ces derniers ne voudront pas perdre leur emploi (oui, je sais, l éducation ne fait pas que former de simples employés). Comment peut-on donc faire concurrence aux ordinateurs? La réponse se divise en trois volets : créativité, flexibilité, humanité. C est ce qu il faut privilégier dans notre système d éducation au lieu des faits et des connaissances. Tout d abord, la créativité consiste à produire de nouvelles choses et à trouver de nouvelles manières de faire les choses. Tôt ou tard, les ordinateurs et les robots pourront faire tout ou presque tout ce que les humaines peuvent faire. Mais une chose diffère : les humains sont imprévisibles, une caractéristique que met en relief la créativité. Pour battre les ordinateurs, il faut donc faire ce que personne n a jamais pensé programmer dans les ordinateurs. Par contre, il est clair qu une fois qu on aura découvert l importance de la créativité, certains esprits allumés chercheront à mettre au point des ordinateurs capables de créer. Mais d ici là, c est notre département. Quand on parle de créativité, on parle aussi d arts. Je ne suis pas convaincu que les ordinateurs et les robots pourront un jour créer des peintures, des sculptures ou des symphonies à notre place. J aurais tendance à croire que les œuvres créées par des ordinateurs n auront pas la même valeur à nos yeux que les œuvres créées par des humains, mais je me trompe peut-être. Peu importe, le travail des artistes aura toujours la cote (qu on aime ou pas un artiste). Ensuite, on parle de flexibilité quand on peut s immerger dans ce qu on fait, bien comprendre de quoi il en retourne et trouver des solutions adéquates. L entreprenariat, c est-à-dire la création d entreprises, en est un exemple. J ai écrit deux livres sur le sujet et je peux vous certifier que tout bon entrepreneur se bute un jour ou l autre à des difficultés insurmontables qu il parvient néanmoins à surmonter. Voilà une belle démonstration de flexibilité! Enfin, l humanité équivaut en quelque sorte à ces compétences générales que sont le travail d équipe, l empathie, la capacité de chef, la compréhension et le génie qui nous distinguent des ordinateurs. L histoire de l humanité recèle d équipes formées et dirigées de main habile malgré l adversité, une capacité caractéristique de notre espèce. Savoir bien travailler en équipe a toujours été un excellent moyen de progresser sur le plan professionnel. Il faut comprendre comment les situations évoluent et avoir de l empathie pour les autres et ce qu ils vivent si on veut se démarquer des robots qui effectueront les tâches routinières. Par exemple, je fais moimême affaire avec un câblodistributeur par satellite non parce qu il a les meilleurs prix ou le meilleur équipement, mais parce que je suis impressionné de la qualité du service à la clientèle. J en suis même à me demander pourquoi les autres services à la clientèle à qui j ai affaire ne les imitent pas. Le génie, c est la raison pour laquelle nous vivons dans des maisons plutôt que dans des caves, que nous comprenons la nature qui nous entoure, que nous prenons soin de notre corps. C est cette particularité de l humain qui est à l origine de tout le reste. J ai, pour finir, trois défis pour vous. D abord, vérifiez si j ai raison ou si j ai tort concernant les changements à venir au cours des dix prochaines années et songez aux répercussions de ces changements sur le milieu professionnel. Faites-vous votre propre opinion. Deuxièmement, demandez-vous si le système d éducation s adapte assez vite aux changements qui vont survenir. Et troisièmement, demandez-vous si notre système d éducation en général prépare adéquatement les élèves. Si vous concluez que j ai raison sur l avenir et que vous ne croyez pas que le système d éducation soit à la hauteur, j ai alors une quatrième question pour vous : de quel type de système avons-nous besoin et comment le mettre en place? Richard Worzel, le plus grand futurologue au Canada, donne des conférences à plus de personnes par année. Il accorde gratuitement de son temps pour parler aux élèves du secondaire. Vous pouvez communiquer avec lui à futuresearch.com. 8 - MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

9 WEBSTUFF SchoolTube TeacherTube S chooltube provides students and educators with a safe and free media sharing website. All student created uploads must be approved before they can be shared. The SchoolTube platform allows students to upload media into a holding area that keeps the media inactive. An is sent to a moderator or registered teacher informing them that the media is available to be viewed for approval. Only after the media has been approved by the moderator is it available for viewing on the site Students can search for and organize their own videos according to channels or categories. Some of the many categories include academics and education, green and environment, health and wellness, and autos and videos. They can safely and easily share media from school, about school, or about any topic that interests them. They also have the opportunity to win prizes by entering video competitions directly on the website. For educators, SchoolTube can help them design different class projects including, digital storytelling, video yearbooks, broadcast journalism, virtual tours (field trips), demonstrations, current events, blogs, and presentations. Teachers can also use SchoolTube to share teacher approved media or integrate technology into their lessons. The website features a Tech Corner where teachers can share and view how other teachers around the world are using SchoolTube to integrate technology into their classrooms. Educators can also download a SchoolTube TechTool Kit to help them get started. Also, teachers can access resources or submit questions to SchoolTube s Tech Experts who provide educational technology guidance. SchoolTube also offers additional resources, including, how to register for an account, how to create a SchoolTube channel, and how to unblock SchoolTube. It also provides its media standards and explains the U.S. Children s Online Privacy and Protection Act. Technical articles include a step-by-step guide to moderation and video compression basics. Last, SchoolTube provides video lesson plans for teachers in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. As well, there are lesson plans for music videos, history, science, and teaching copyright to students. TeacherTube is a free online community for sharing instructional videos. It is an educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. The site provides anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, teachers can post videos designed for students to learn a concept or skill. Members are encouraged to upload educationally relevant videos and make constructive comments. The rating system is used to rank videos and show appreciation of the value for teachers and learners. Users also have the ability to flag videos they deem inappropriate. TeacherTube staff review flagged sites and will remove any questionable posts.users also have the option to upload and view documentaries, photos and audio files. All media is organized into additional categories such as, featured, recently added, most viewed, most discussed, top-rated, and most favoured. Users can subscribe to RSS feeds of their preferred media and share media with the main bookmarking and social networking tools. TeacherTube lets users participate in a community of groups, bulletins and forums. There is also a blog section for users to discuss educational topics. MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 9

10 By Lisa Tran Society is embarking on a journey through the Nano Age. Teaching nanotechnology to students provides them with a passport to a world where nanotechnology is becoming the dominant science. The Nano World sounds like one that exists only in the imaginations of the best sci-fi writers. It is a world with selfcleaning windows and materials that are harder than diamonds and stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight. But this world is very real and at the helm of our tour is Deb Newberry, a nuclear physicist and nanotechnologist at the Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota. In Newberry s co-authored book, The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnolog y Will Change the Future of Your Business, she describes nanotechnology as the art and science of manipulating and rearranging individual atoms and molecules to create useful materials, devices, and systems. Nanotechnology or, nanoscience, is so-called because atoms and molecules are miniscule mere nanometres in width where one nanometre equals one billionth of a metre. To better grasp the nanoscale, we can begin by comparing a single strand of human hair with gold atoms. A human hair is approximately 7000nm wide while two and a half gold atoms make up one tiny nanometre. Atoms are small. And as its name suggests, nanoscience is tiny science. The responsible, diligent scientist does not rely on mere observation. In fact, nanoscientists have successfully replicated the atomic structures of some of the Earth s hardest and enduring materials and modified them to engineer ones that are stronger and more resilient. Many analysts outside of the scientific realm have applauded nanoscience for its remarkable potential. Venture capitalist, Steve Jurvetson of Draper, Fisher and Jurvetson believes that nanotechnology is the next great technology wave, the nexus of scientific innovation that revolutionizes most industries and indirectly affects the fabric of society. Historians will look back on the upcoming epoch with no less portent than the Industrial Revolution. As for the rest of society, we are affected by nanotechnology be MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

11 cause decades of experimentation in laboratories have materialized swiftly into everyday products displayed on store shelves. Take for example, sporting equipment. In a sport like tennis, a stronger racket will propel the ball further, but strong building materials are exceptionally heavy. A tennis player would never use a racket comprised of the strongest steel unless the object of the game was to move as slowly as possible while carrying the heavy, but sturdy racket. Using nanotechnology however, scientists can fabricate new rackets that are stronger yet lighter than traditional ones with super materials such as carbon nanotubes. Keeping with the sports theme, nanoscientists have also created super balls bouncier tennis balls. The fibres of the balls are shrunk down to nanometres and added to the outer coatings. The fibres are so incredibly small that they are woven more tightly together than regular fibres. The new tennis balls now have fewer crevices for air to flow out, retaining their bounce for a longer period of time. Many nanotechnology applications have been innovatively incorporated into the design of cosmetics. Zinc oxide is the secret ingredient in sunscreen that protects skin from the sun s UV rays. Zinc oxide particles are white, but when they are reduced to nanometres, they appear transparent. We can now buy sunscreen that isn t the white you see on lifeguards, but still protects exactly the same, chuckles Newberry. Surprisingly, even the quality of food can improve with the assistance of nanotechnology. I sure remember the early days of low-fat yogurt when it had this strange, watery texture, recalls Newberry. Fat is an emulsifier, it gives food its smooth consistency, so less fat means a coarser texture. To solve this food conundrum, manufacturers are now shrinking the fat particles in low-fat products. The foods remain low in fat, but the new texture is finer because the fat becomes virtually invisible. Delicious and nutritious. Nanotechnology comprises a continuum of development in the prestigious laboratories and in the industrious manufacturers. The new discoveries are actually being implemented in products and manufacturing and that s where there will be a whole new category of jobs: in manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance, says Newberry. Dean Hart of NanoInk, a nanotechnology company, MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 11

12 TINY SCIENCE states that the National Science Society estimates two million nanotechnologists will be needed by the year Currently, there are only about 20,000 in the world. The need for more specialists in a short amount of time is overwhelming, but we can start training future nanotechnologists by teaching the science to today s eager students. In most fields of science, traditional hands-on research has been reserved for pure research institutes. Nanoscience differs in that students can conduct their own research and contribute to the growing body of knowledge through their experiments. Students interested in nanotechnology can, potentially, translate their passion into a specific career. Nanoscience students can begin specializing as early as the high school level. Most important for educators, nanoscience can incite students to become interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and remain interested in it. Teaching nanoscience may be a daunting task, but it certainly does not require developing an entirely new course, just yet. Newberry suggests that nanotechnology concepts can be applied to lesson plans by adding another step of discussion or making small modifications. She has experience teaching nanotechnology to young people as part of an annual summer camp for high school students at the Dakota County Technical College. Incorporating nanotechnology into the science curriculum can be relatively simple as exemplified by the following examples: Chemistry: If you are already conducting a lab that involves boiling and mixing to make precipitates, you do not have to add another experiment, rather, another step. You can substitute the regular chemicals with others just as easy to obtain. Students can then take a solution that already has gold in it, separate the gold atoms, and group them together. And in the process they will be creating gold nanoatoms. They will end up with a red solution and when salt is added, the solution turns grey because you are changing the particle size. Students would then create gold nano particles instead of that white stuff that falls to the bottom of a test tube, says Newberry. They can then use the microscopes to measure and observe the gold atoms. It is not alchemy, but students will still be making gold! Physics: When students are studying velocity, the classic example they look at is the case of water flowing out of a garden hose. They are asked to calculate the water s velocity and determine where it will fall. Teachers can add another step and ask student s to observe the fluid flow if a straw was attached to the garden hose. In doing so, teachers can introduce students to the idea of fluid flowing through capillary tubes. It s not nanosized atoms, but it s pretty darn close, explains Newberry and has their minds thinking about fluid flow at microscopic levels. Participation and hands-on opportunities are paramount in a student s learning and comprehension of the sciences. They are stimulated and challenged when they learn through action. Nanotechnology is perfect for classrooms because the core of its practice revolves around plenty of hands-on modules easier said than done. Fortunately, those in the nanotechnology sector are committed to promoting the science to a broad cross-section of society including educators. A nanofabrication machine, an important tool in nanoscience, typically requires a clean room for operation, that can easily cost $ million to build and maintain. Who can afford that? laments Hart. We need to find a way to place tools in the classroom, which is precisely why NanoInk has developed the NanoProfessor Suite. It is a suite of equipment and curriculum designed for high school and does not require a clean room. Everything you need to begin teaching nanoscience comes in the package. The NanoProfessor arrives with three pieces of equipment: The NLP 2000, a desktop nanofabrication machine; an Atomic Force Microscope that images solid material; and a Fluorescence Microscope that images biologic material like DNA, viruses, and bacteria. Also included is a supporting in-depth textbook; all the materials necessary to conduct labs; teaching aides including assessments, rubrics, guides, and lecture presentations; notes; and most importantly, training for the equipment, curriculum, and labs. The only thing missing is you. Nanotechnology s progress has been hindered by the lack of sophisticated equipment, but soon after new machines were developed, scientists immediately plunged into their specialties. Although nanoscience is still in its research phase, its applications have already stretched across consumer and manufacturing sectors and soon will appear in school boards. Nanotechnology is changing the face of science, the way we live, and the world in which we live. We are now able to improve machines and materials by making them stronger, faster, more efficient, and smaller. No industry will be unaltered. And for the first time, teachers are not an afterthought in the development of a new technology. As nanotechnology revolutionizes our society, nanoscientists do not want to leave educators behind in the Dark Ages. With the proper resources we can lead our students through the journey of this new realm of scientific inquiry and secure their spots on the ride through the Nano Age. For more information, check out these links: Dakota County Technical College NanoProfessor NanoInk MAR/APR 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

13 We s h a r e t h e s k y We share the future Now is the time to join together to protect our world or we could lose all it gives us. To learn how you can help, order your free World Wildlife Fund Action Kit. TOGETHER, WE CAN BE A FORCE FOR NATURE C A L L - W W F w o r l d w i l d l i f e. o r g / a c t MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 13

14 Par Lisa Tran La nanotechnologie marque le début d une nouvelle ère où, science dominante, elle s imposera d elle-même en classe. Le «monde de la nanotechnologie», voilà une notion qui semble tout droit sortie de l imagination des meilleurs écrivains de science-fiction. C est un monde où les fenêtres se nettoient par ellesmêmes et où les matériaux sont plus durs que le diamant et plus forts que l acier tout en étant beaucoup plus légers. Mais c est un monde bel et bien réel que nous dévoile aujourd hui Deb Newberry, physicienne nucléaire et nanotechnologue au Dakota County Technical College à Rosemount au Minnesota. Dans le livre dont elle est la coauteure, The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business, elle décrit la nanotechnologie comme «l art et la science de la manipulation et de la restructuration des molécules et atomes pour créer des matériaux, des appareils et des systèmes efficaces». La nanotechnologie, ou nanoscience, s appelle ainsi parce que les atomes et les molécules y sont minuscules, quelques nanomètres en fait, un nanomètre équivalant à un milliardième de mètre. Pour avoir une meilleure représentation, il suffit de comparer un cheveu humain avec les atomes de l or. Un cheveu humain fait environ nanomètres de largeur alors qu il faut deux atomes d or et demi pour obtenir un seul nanomètre. Si les atomes sont petits, la nanoscience fait, elle, dans le minuscule. Tout scientifique assidu ne s en tient pas qu aux observations. En fait, les nanoscientifiques ont réussi à répliquer les structures atomiques de certains des matériaux les plus solides et les plus durables de la Terre et à les modifier pour former des structures particulièrement résistantes. De nombreux analystes extérieurs au milieu scientifique ont encensé la nanoscience et tout le potentiel qu elle présente. Capitaliste de premier ordre, Steve Jurvetson de la société Draper, Fisher and Jurvetson croit que «la nanotechnologie est la prochaine vague technologique, le nec plus ultra de l innovation scientifique qui révolutionne beaucoup d industries et touche indirectement le tissu social. Les historiens de l avenir considéreront l ère à nos portes 14 - MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

15 comme aussi importante que l a été la révolution industrielle.» La population en général n est pas épargnée par la vague nanotechnologique : des dizaines et des dizaines d années d expériences ont donné vie à des produits de tous les jours qui abondent maintenant en magasin. L équipement sportif en est un bon exemple. Dans un sport comme le tennis, les raquettes plus solides propulsent la balle plus loin, mais les matériaux durs sont très lourds. Un joueur de tennis n utiliserait jamais de raquette en acier dur à moins que son objectif soit de se déplacer le plus lentement possible tout en portant une raquette lourde mais robuste. À l aide de la nanotechnologie, cependant, les scientifiques peuvent fabriquer des raquettes plus solides et plus légères que les raquettes traditionnelles grâce à des matériaux innovateurs comme les nanotubes de carbone. Toujours dans les sports, les nanoscientifiques ont aussi créé des balles de tennis à meilleur rebond. Les fibres des balles sont réduites à des nanomètres et ajoutées au revêtement extérieur. Elles sont si petites qu elles se tissent mieux entre elles que les fibres ordinaires. Les nouvelles balles de tennis ont maintenant une surface plus uniforme. Cette surface permet à l air de mieux contourner la balle et à la balle de rebondir plus longtemps. De nombreuses applications nanotechnologiques ont été tout récemment incorporées dans la conception de produits cosmétiques. L oxyde de zinc est par exemple l ingrédient secret de la lotion solaire qui protège la peau des rayons ultraviolets du soleil. Les particules d oxyde de zinc sont blanches, mais lorsqu elles sont réduites à l échelle nanométrique, elles deviennent transparentes. Nous pouvons maintenant nous procurer de la lotion solaire qui «n a pas la même apparence que ce qu on voit sur les sauveteurs, mais qui protège tout de même bien», précise Newberry sur un ton blagueur. Étonnamment, la nanotechnologie peut même améliorer la qualité des aliments. «Je me souviens lorsque le yogourt faible en gras est arrivé sur le marché, lorsqu il avait cette étrange texture liquide, dit Newberry. Le gras est un émulsifiant, il donne à la nourriture sa consistance lisse.» Donc, moins de gras équivaut à une texture plus rude. Pour remédier à la situation, les fabricants réduisent maintenant les particules de gras dans les produits faibles en gras. Les aliments restent donc faibles en gras, mais la nouvelle texture est plus lisse parce que le gras devient pratiquement invisible. Délicieux et nutritif. MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - 15

16 DE LA SCIENCE La nanotechnologie est un milieu qui évolue sans cesse dans les grands laboratoires et les entreprises de fabrication. «Les découvertes sont incorporées dans des produits et des modes de fabrication et c est ce qui créera une toute nouvelle catégorie d emplois : les essais et l assurance de la qualité dans les entreprises de fabrication», explique Newberry. Selon Dean Hart, de NanoInk, entreprise de nanotechnologie, la National Science Society estime qu il faudra deux millions de nanotechnologues d ici «Actuellement, il n y en a que dans le monde. La situation est alarmante : il faut plus de spécialistes en peu de temps», mais nous pouvons commencer par former les prochains nanotechno-logues en enseignant la science aux élèves assoiffés de connaissances. Dans la plupart des domaines scientifiques, la recherche est traditionnellement réservée aux instituts dont c est la vocation. La nanoscience est différente en ce que les étudiants peuvent mener leur propre recherche et contribuer au bassin croissant de connaissances au moyen de leurs expériences. Les étudiants intéressés par la nanotechnologie ont potentiellement la chance de faire carrière dans ce qui les passionne. Les étudiants en nanoscience peuvent commencer à se spécialiser aussi tôt qu à l école secondaire. Pour le milieu de l éducation, c est certes l intérêt durable pour la science, la technologie, le génie et les mathématiques que suscite la nanotechnologie chez les jeunes qui demeure le plus grand avantage. L enseignement de la nanoscience est souvent excessivement complexe, mais nul besoin actuellement de créer un tout nouveau cours. Newberry suggère qu «on étoffe ou modifie légèrement les plans de cours pour y inclure les concepts de nanotechnologie.» Elle a acquis de l expérience dans l enseignement de la nanotechnologie à des jeunes lors d un camp d été annuel pour les élèves du secondaire au Dakota County Technical College. L incorporation de la nanotechnologie aux programmes scolaires en sciences peut être relativement simple comme en témoignent les exemples ci-dessous. Chimie Si vous faites un laboratoire où on fait bouillir et mélange des substances pour former des précipités, il suffit d ajouter une étape à l expérience. Pas besoin d en créer une autre! Il suffit de remplacer les produits chimiques par d autres tout aussi faciles à obtenir. Les élèves peuvent alors choisir une solution qui contient déjà de l or, séparer les atomes d or et les regrouper. Ils créeront alors des nanoatomes d or et obtiendront au final une solution rouge qui, lorsqu on y ajoute du sel, devient grise parce qu on change la taille des particules. «Les élèves créeraient ainsi des nanoparticules d or au lieu de cette matière blanchâtre qui s accumule au fond d une éprouvette, explique Newberry. À l aide d un microscope, ils observeront le résultat et comprendront qu ils ont fabriqué de l or sans faire d alchimie!» Physique Lorsque les élèves étudient la vitesse, l exemple classique est celui de l eau qui coule d un tuyau de jardin. Ils doivent alors calculer la vitesse de l eau et déterminer où tombera le jet. Les enseignants ont la possibilité d ajouter une autre étape et de demander aux élèves d observer le mouvement du fluide si on attachait une paille au tuyau. Ainsi, on montre aux élèves la notion de circulation de fluides dans des tubes capillaires. «Ce ne sont pas des atomes de taille nanométriques, mais c est tout comme», explique Newberry. Les élèves réfléchissent ainsi au mouvement des fluides à une échelle microscopique. Les possibilités de mise en pratique abondent dans le processus d apprentissage d un élève en sciences. En effet, les élèves sont stimulés lorsqu ils sont actifs dans leur apprentissage. La nanotechnologie est donc idéale en classe parce que ses applications sont nombreuses, mais c est là chose plus facile à dire qu à faire. Heureusement, ceux qui évoluent dans le milieu de la nanotechnologie veulent faire connaître leur science à un large public, y compris le milieu de l éducation. La nanomachine, un outil important de la nanoscience, exige habituellement une salle blanche pour bien fonctionner, une salle qui «peut facilement coûter de 80 à 100 millions de dollars à construire et à entretenir. Qui peut se le permettre?, se plaint Hart. Nous devons trouver un moyen d introduire des outils dans les salles de classe.» Et c est exactement pour cette raison que NanoInk a conçu la NanoProfessor Suite. C est à la fois un équipement et un programme scolaire pour les écoles secondaires sans nécessité de salle blanche. Tout ce dont on a besoin pour enseigner la nanoscience se trouve dans la trousse : le NLP 2000, une nanomachine de table; un microscope de force atomique qui permet de voir les matériaux solides et un microscope à fluorescence qui permet de voir les matières biologiques comme l ADN, les virus et les bactéries. On y trouve aussi un manuel complet; tout le matériel nécessaire pour mener des expériences en laboratoire; des ressources didactiques comme des évaluations, des stades de progrès, des guides et des présentations; des notes et, le plus important, des explications sur l équipement, le programme scolaire et les laboratoires. Tout ce qui manque, c est vous. Les progrès de la nanotechnologie ont été minés par le manque d équipement à la fine pointe, mais dès que de nouvelles machines ont été mises au point, les scientifiques se sont mis immédiatement à la tâche dans leur spécialité respective. Bien que la nanoscience en soit encore au stade de recherche, ses applications ont eu des effets concrets pour les consommateurs et les entreprises de fabrication, et les conseils scolaires devraient bientôt emboîter le pas. La nanotechnologie modifie le visage de la science, la manière dont nous vivons et le monde dans lequel nous vivons. Nous sommes maintenant capables d améliorer nos machines et nos matériaux en les rendant plus robustes, plus rapides, plus efficaces et plus petits. Aucun secteur d activité n y échappera. Et pour la première fois, les enseignants ne seront pas les grands oubliés MARCH/APRIL 2010 TEACH / LE PROF

17 LESSON 1: MULTICULTURALISM AND CANADA S NORTH CURRICULA Lesson 1: Multiculturalism and Canada s North Introduction: The goal is for students to reflect on their understanding of multiculturalism and learn how it connects to Canada s North, including Canada s sovereignty in the north. Students will explore the role of the Inuit and Aboriginal peoples as stewards of Canada s north and share ways to support and enhance this role. By participating in this activity, students will research to learn more about the culture of these fellow Canadians. They will gain a better understanding of how they have been the traditional stewards of Canada s North and reflect on whether they may be best equipped to continue as the stewards of Canada s North. Project North Graphic Novel: Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic is structured in sections to mirror the themes and issues in the four lessons. It follows the progress of Alex and ZaZi as they work to help their country by finding a solution to protecting Canada s sovereignty in the North. They are discovering information and putting together a white paper to submit to an online summit on Sovereignty in Canada s North. As students in class complete a challenge, pages of the graphic novel are then unlocked so students can follow along with the story. Familiarize yourself with the graphic novel before beginning the lessons with the students. Assign the relevant pages as they explore each lesson. Key Concepts and Issues: Students will explore the concept of multiculturalism and how it connects to issues surrounding Canada s North. Subjects: Multiculturalism and Canada s North Grade Level: Grades 9 to 12 Duration: 5 to 8 classes Curriculum Links: Social Studies, World History World Geography Materials Required: computers with Internet access detailed map of Canada s North: nationalgeographic.com/maps/atlas/north-america-geophysical.html writing paper and utensils MAR/APR 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - CURRICULA 17

18 LESSON 1: MULTICULTURALISM AND CANADA S NORTH Expectations/Outcomes: Students will: increase their knowledge of Canadian history and geography analyze major issues involving the rights, responsibilities, roles, and status of individual citizens and groups in a local, national and global context explain, analyze, and compare the effectiveness of various methods of influencing public policy explore the concept of protecting Canadian identity and sovereignty examine one or more aspects of multiculturalism in the Canadian context Background The concept of sovereignty is an evolving one. It has traditionally focused on the rights of a country to control a territory (the land and its inhabitants) legitimately without interference from other countries. Now, instead of focusing on rights, sovereignty is being considered in terms of responsibilities, especially the responsibility of a country to protect, and have authority over, its territory and to be perceived as protecting it and having authority over it. Sovereignty is also thought to include stewardship over the territory. For thousands of years, Canada s North has been home to Inuit and Aboriginal peoples. Their unique culture, one of many within Canada, is a reflection of their northern environment and their close relationship with the land. The concept of the land included not just the earth itself, but all of nature: plants, animals, water, ice, wind and sky. Nature and Inuit are one. They have depended on each other for centuries and any and any change or alteration to just one aspect can unbalance the whole. Innuuqatigitt curriculum, page 31 While climate change in the North is affecting the way of the Inuit people in a detrimental way, it is also drawing international attention to the North as a possible North-West passage is emerging. Thus, what is detrimental to the culture and even survival of the Inuit may be of economic benefit to others. Step One: Teacher-Led Discussion Begin with a general discussion about multiculturalism and what it means. Explain that Canada has an official policy of multiculturalism. It was announced in 1971; it acknowledged the diversity within the country and it encouraged cultural pluralism, instead of assimilation. It suggested the Canadian identity was based on an acceptance of ethnic difference. In 1982, multiculturalism was mentioned in section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It states: This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians. Remind students that Canada is a land of immigrants, and that people have been coming to live in Canada for hundreds of years. Draw their attention to a map of Canada and indicate the Arctic regions. Ask the students who were the first inhabitants of this land. Discuss the word Inuit, and tell students it means the people. Ask them to share anything they already know about the Inuit, their culture, their daily lives, their traditional system of governance, and their contemporary way of life. 18 MAR/APR 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - CURRICULA

19 LESSON 1: MULTICULTURALISM AND CANADA S NORTH Step Two Tell students that Canada s North, ancestral home of the Inuit, has become an area of interest to many countries. They are eyeing its natural resources (uranium, natural gas, diamonds) with interest and, as global warming is causing the northern ice to melt, they are becoming interested in the possibility of a North West passage through the area. They are challenging whether this land, and its people, are actually within Canada s political sphere. (The students will learn more about this in Lesson 2.) Explain that the four of the lessons in this program will be investigating different aspects of this issue. Also, explain to students that, throughout these four lessons, they will be reading a graphic novel Project North: Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic. Have them read the first pages of the novel. As well as being introduced to the general concepts surrounding sovereignty issues in the North, they will gain an understanding that the North is home to the Inuit and the Inuit are vitally important to the region. Step Three Tell students that the focus of steps 3 and 4 of this lesson is on answering these questions: Are the Inuit uniquely equipped to be stewards of Canada s North and, if so, why? What does this mean to them, and to Canada? How does this influence the challenges to Canada s traditional role in the Arctic? How can you educate students within your school about the Inuit to help raise their profile as fellow Canadians and enhance their role as stewards of the North? First, have the students define the word steward (one who protects or looks after nature, public property, or money; one who manages another s property or affairs). Have them look for the more recent definition of environmental stewardship. (Environment Canada defines it as being the act of entrusting the careful and responsible management of the environment and natural resources for the benefit of the general community. ) Discuss reasons why Canada s North needs stewards. Read them this excerpt from a speech called Inuit and the Canadian Arctic: Sovereignty Begins at Home made by Mary Simon (President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which in English means Inuit are united in Canada ). The Arctic is in urgent need of attention by all Canadians and, indeed, by the world community. As leader of the national Inuit organization, I am determined to generate public interest and galvanize political attention on Arctic issues. Canada is an Arctic nation. The Arctic is a vital part of our country, and its peoples contribute to the cultural and social diversity that we value so dearly. Together we must build robust and sustainable northern communities. A healthy, confident and prosperous Inuit population will create the foundation for keeping the Arctic firmly within Canada. For us, the Inuit, it is our homeland our special place on Earth. But for all Canadians, the Arctic must become part of our shared sense of who and what we are, of what defines us, and what we are accountable for not just a remote region with beautiful icescapes and polar bears. Part of that accountability is accepting that the Arctic is a place where people live, where families are raised, where problems need solving, and where resources exist that will continue to nurture human development, and help finance this wonderful place called Canada. MAR/APR 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - CURRICULA 19

20 LESSON 1: MULTICULTURALISM AND CANADA S NORTH Discuss Mary Simon s comments, for example: Why might some people have difficulty accepting that the Arctic is a place where people live? What does she mean by accountability? Why do you think she mentions resources as a source of financing for the country? Why do you think her speech is called Sovereignty Begins at Home? Think about Simon s biases and why she might hold these views. For example, how might it benefit her and the Inuit to generate public interest? Also, consider whether you think all Inuit share her views. Now remind the students that the land has special meaning to the Inuit. They are connected to the land. It sustains them, and they feel a responsibility to care for it. Scientists believe climate change will be more pronounced in high latitudes. The change in temperatures is causing changes in the natural environment, for example, there is a longer sea-ice free season, there are more insects, more pronounced windstorms, and shorter snowmobile seasons over sea-ice. Read this quote from Sheila Watt-Cloutier, President of Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Canada), speaking in Ottawa, in 2002: Inuit are not prepared to be seen, to be treated, or to act as powerless victims of external forces over which we have no control. In fact, Inuit are involved in every aspect of life that affects us, from the science to the policy, in the communities, in Canada, in the circumpolar Arctic, and globally. Unfortunately, the federal government seems to think our role is to adapt to climate change. But that is only part of our role. We intend to bring our concerns, interests, and perspectives, and those of the Arctic more broadly, to the attention of international decision-makers. We must give climate change in the Arctic a human face -- an Inuk face -- and we must show climate change negotiators that impacts in the Arctic foreshadow impacts around the globe. We want to do this in co-operation with the Government of Canada and other Arctic states. With the students, discuss these questions: Are the Inuit particularly vulnerable to climate change, as a people, compared to other Canadians? How does climate change threaten the survival of the Inuit as a people? How does this connect to the role of the Inuit as stewards of the North? Last, explain to them that one theory of sovereignty states that demonstrating use of the North gives legitimacy to a country s claim to the region. Read them the following quote: The Inuit have been using the Arctic for thousands of years. It s their historic use and occupancy of the sea-ice that provides the basis for Canada s claim in the Northwest Passage. It s they who have given us all that they have, in pursuit of a quintessentially Canadian dream. Michael Byers and Jack Layton, in How to Strengthen Our Arctic Sovereignty in The Tyee, Sept MAR/APR 2010 TEACH / LE PROF - CURRICULA

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